A Piece of (Local) History

March 21, 2009

Mr. Pencil and I are making a point of strengthening our library of local and regional history books. We have the biggest collection of Raymond Hatton books (mostly about Central Oregon) on all of LibraryThing. Recently we tried to buy a first edition (from 1928) of Lewis McArthur’s Oregon Geographic Names, which is now in its 7th edition, his son having carried the candle of McArthur’s lofty opus of historical geography (I have had the 6th edition for years).

First we tried at an auction and failed. But then we saw a decent copy at Powell’s.

We paid the $75 for it, cheered that it was a signed copy. The inscription was dated 1946. We noted it summarily but didn’t pay much attention.

A few weeks later my mom came for a Saturday visit and I showed it to her. She flipped it open.

“You do know that this was the Neubergers’ copy, right?” she asked.


“Look: It’s inscribed to Dick and Maurine Neuberger.”

I had initially parsed the inscription as “Newberger,” so it hadn’t caught my attention–but this was a revelation! As a PSU alumna, I spent years attending classes in Neuberger Hall. I knew that Richard Neuberger (here Dick) and his wife Maurine Brown Neuberger were a husband-wife senator “team”, Maurine taking over after Richard’s untimely death in 1960. She’s the only woman US senator Oregon has ever elected.

[flickr size="small"]http://www.flickr.com/photos/lyza/3361807632/[/flickr]

[flickr size="medium"]http://www.flickr.com/photos/lyza/3360988941/[/flickr]

I am honored and thrilled to have this little piece of local history in my library. The book will be cherished.

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